Inefficient Local Authorities To Blame For Floods; Where’s The Funds

Siambun with a villager during his House-to-House Walkabout (H2HW) at Kampung Sugud and Kampung Limbanak in Penampang on Sunday (October 1, 2017).

PENAMPANG: The Penampang local authorities have been slammed for their ineffective and inefficient handling of the flooding problem in the district.

Terrence Siambun, the State Assemblyman for Moyog, which comes under Penampang, said the local authorities have failed time and again to settle the flooding problems.

Siambun said it was hypocritical for the State Barisan Nasional leaders to continue saying that ‘development and progress’ is assured under the BN but look at what is happening at Moyog.

“This year alone, there have been three major flash floods happening in the district causing untold misery, loss of property and probably millions of ringgit in damages,” he said in a statement Monday.

He also wondered aloud as to what had happened to the allocation of some RM400 million that was to go into the Moyog River Flood Mitigation Plan.

The Sigar Roundabout in Donggongon which is on higher ground was also submerged on Friday night, forcing traffic to a near standstill. – Photo credit Upko Penampang

“I want to ask the BN-led State government, what has happened to this huge allocation; just another announcement to hoodwink the people,” he said in after the house-to-house walkabout organized by Warisan Penampang at Sugud and Limbanak.

Siambun contended that the BN-led local authorities cannot continue blaming the heavy rainfall or high tides that cause the flash floods. And the problem is quite similar in other districts too.

“This flooding is all due to improper planning by the Penampang District Council resulting in flash floods occurring all over the place,” he claimed.

Spades and brooms were given away to those affected by the floods by Donald Mojuntin, the Upko secretary general who is from Penampang.

“Hills have been cut indiscriminately, while land reclamation and development have been approved without a proper drainage system in place that should take into account the increase of rainfall.”

He said on top of that, the Council had also ignored the JKKK and the Village heads who gave their opinion on development, reclamation or drainage connected problems in their respective villages.

It is the same BN Government that is withholding the taxpayer monies which had approved the RM400 million Moyog Flood Mitigation Plan.

“This the same BN Government that had failed to see how serious the flooding is at Moyog and taken effective and efficient implementation of the Moyog Flood Mitigation Plan after being given the huge allocation,” added Siambun.

He contended that since Sabah is now experiencing heavier rainfall and with more development taking place, he would propose the establishment of a special State Flood Mitigation Department in Sabah to Warisan leaders.

This department, he said, would work together with the local authorities, Regional and Town Planning, Drainage and Irrigation Department and Public Works Department to find the most appropriate measure to overcome flooding in the State.